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20121129
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on different aspects of the fiscal cliff. we want to look at capital gains tax and the estate tax. what is the estate tax? guest: it goes back to history -- it was put in place to prevent the united states from developing an aristocracy. a tax on estates that are passed down to heirs. republicans called the death tax. they have characterized it as a bad thing. it has a lot of a populist opposition to it. george w. bush signed in a phase-out of the estate tax. the top rate stays at 55%. the exemption level started rising from $1 million and going up. it was repealed completely in 2010 for one year. then it sprang back to life as part of the extension of the bush tax cuts that president obama signed into law. you have a debate -- very few members dispute that it needs to be continued. the debate is over whether you continue it at the current level. there is an exemption level, $10 million for a couple. or at the white house would prefer a 45% rate. that is the debate right now. there's a split among democrats. the white house wants a less generous estate tax. red-leaning states like max b
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